Business comes in cycles—and that’s true for any industry—but in transportation, we’re always on the move! As a shipper, knowing the challenges your carriers face at certain times of the year is vital so you can plan more accurately.
Freight transportation has four distinct seasons. Like the weather itself, the nature of these changes is beyond our control. As a trusted logistics provider, DTS World Cargo is always prepared to ride the wave of each season so we can better serve our customers.
But how do we define the seasons in the transportation industry? Read on to find out!
What Are the Seasons of Transportation?
Supply and demand are the main factors driving shipping rate changes and determining capacity. Though what’s typical tends to change depending on the type of business and goods you’re shipping, we can generalize the four seasons of transportation as follows:
· Quiet Season
The period immediately following the holidays is generally quite a bit slower and less hectic than the previous months. Additionally, products sensitive to frigid temperatures can’t be shipped during this time, so many shippers will hold off until the weather warms up. The quiet season in transportation runs from January to March, and it’s generally a time when we plan and prepare for busier times ahead, so we’re ready when business picks back up.
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· Produce Season
From April through July, we see freshly harvested produce starting to circulate again. Since produce is perishable, it is a high priority; thus, it pays quite well, making capacity very competitive during this period. Of course, the variables depend on what produce is shipping out of your state. Knowing these facts will tell you how concerned you should be about shipping during this season.
· Peak Shipping Season
August through October is peak shipping season for most industries. As we move out of produce season, we’ll face a surge of back-to-school and pre-holiday buying. Many stores have experienced delays or shortages of holiday items the past couple of years, so the current tendency is to get ahead of it, so they’re well-stocked before demand kicks into high gear.
· The Holiday Season
November and December are jam-packed for many reasons. Thanksgiving, the giving season, and the new year create massive demand, and because of the holidays, shippers often cluster their orders to get ahead of employee time off. This practice makes a bit of a bottleneck in terms of capacity, so you’d do well to extend your lead times and plan ahead.
Freight Insurance is Essential in All Seasons
Having freight insurance for all your shipments is critical, no matter the shipping season. With so many variables affecting timelines and causing a potential for delays, the last thing you want is to have something go wrong with your freight. Proactively protecting your items before things get too hectic ensures you can resolve matters quickly if there are issues and avoid any associated loss.
DTS World Cargo is a trusted 3PL serving many diverse industries. We work closely with our customers to ensure they are well-informed and their business needs are met in all shipping, import/export, and related logistics services.